How to save $50 off your food bill and keep eating delicious and nutritious meals

Grocery prices have skyrocketed for a number of reasons, including rising costs for gasoline, fertilizer, and labor.

You can “shop” for cheap groceries, but that will cost you more fuel or travel, not to mention time.

Research shows that a healthy diet costs low-income families 20 to 30% of their disposable income. But a healthy diet is still cheaper than a diet dominated by highly processed foods and drinks.

Cutting your purchase invoice requires planning, flexibility — and knowing your budget.

So how can you do that?

Start checking files Vegetables and fruits in seasonand look for recipes that include these.

Replace some fresh vegetables and fruits with canned and frozen items, and replace expensive items with cheaper alternatives.

Eat a meat-free meal at least once a week.

Next, create a grocery list. This helps save money by reducing impulsive in-store purchases. Look at what you already have in the pantry, fridge and freezer, and buy only what you need. This will reduce food waste.

Check online catalogs for specials before heading to the stores. Once in the store, compare prices and Choose cheaper brands. This makes nutritious meals More affordable.

How much do families spend on groceries?

a Survey 2021 I found that the average grocery bill at the supermarket was $98 a week for one person, $145 for two people, $168 for three people, $187 for four and $255 for five or more people.

that Older survey from 2016 It found that the average household (2.6 people) spends $269 per week on all purchases of food ($237) and alcohol ($32), whether at the supermarket or other outlets.

Almost half of the money was spent onavailable“Goods like takeout or fast food ($80), with $20 spent on lollipops, chocolates, savory snacks and chips, and $10 on donuts, biscuits, and sweets. And in the supermarket, $26 spent on fruit and vegetables.

a Survey 2019 I found that the average person spends $300 a week on all foods and drinks. This included groceries ($135), dining out ($52), alcohol ($31), fast food ($22), barista coffee/tea ($13), food delivery services ($12), supplements ($12), and healthy foods ($11). ) .

These surveys show that it is common to spend more on foods and drinks consumed away from home than groceries and more on unhealthy items than healthy ones.

How about saving $50?

5 tips to help you save

Putting it all together, here are five key tips to keep in mind when planning your family’s food:

1. Have a food budget

The total food budget dollars will be affected by the number of people you need to feed, their ages, and your household income. A rough general rule of thumb is that it should cost no more than a third of your family’s total disposable income.

Set targets in your budget for both basic and nutritious foods Discretionary Food and Drinks (Soft drinks, chips, biscuits, cakes, lollipops, pies, pastries and cold cuts) and on foods away from home (coffee, fast food, bars, clubs, bottle shops and restaurants).

2. Make a Weekly plan For breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks

Write down the matching grocery list. Check your pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what you already have or if there are any Components can be swapped to save purchase.

3. Prepare your lunch

Purchase a lunch box and pack it the night before. Put it in the fridge so you can eat it and go in the morning. For ideas, see our $5 Homemade Lunches.

If your morning is too busy, make sure you eat breakfast foods, too.

4. Cook more meals at home

It may include cooking more meals at home Cheaper and healthier versions Some of your takeaway favorites like pizza and burgers.

a I found a study from the United States Those who cook more at home spend half as much on food eaten outside the home than those who cook infrequently. They also spent 17% less on food overall.

Interestingly, both groups spent the same on groceries, suggesting that rare home stoves either waste more food, eat more, or both.

5. Cook two batches

Cook larger portions of meals like curryAnd soups and casseroles, and either freeze them or eat the same meal twice.

For those who need to shop on a seriously tight budget, we’ve developed a $60/week meal plan on our site No money, no time website. This free resource contains a meal plan with inexpensive recipes, designed to meet the essential nutrients needed for health.

If you need help getting food now, give it a try Ask Izzy website. By submitting your zip code, it shows support services, such as free meals, near you.

The authors acknowledge the assistance of Hannah McCormick and Elise Jones of the No Money No Time project team in preparing this article.

Claire CollinsEmeritus Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics, Newcastle University And the Megan WatanalPostdoctoral Researcher in Nutrition and Dietetics, Newcastle University

This article has been republished from Conversation Under a Creative Commons License. Read the original article.

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